If you’ve recently visited the Washington Park Arboretum, you may have noticed the new Arboretum Loop Trail is taking shape. Crews have continued to make progress through a very wet fall and cold winter, and they hope to open the first section in mid-February.
Part of the Arboretum’s long-term Master Plan, the project creates 1.2 miles of new trail, completing a 2.5 mile loop. Areas that were once muddy and hard to access will be accessible by the paved 8-10’ wide trail. With the new design, visitors will see vistas, trees and plants they may have never been able to enjoy before.
Ray Larson, University of Washington Botanic Gardens Curator of Living Collections, explains that maintaining the health of the Arboretum’s collection is a top priority. While it’s been necessary to remove some trees to make way for the trail, the team will be replanting more trees than they remove. By carefully balancing the impact of moving, removing and replanting, the Arboretum will host fewer invasive species and a greater diversity of native plants.
While visiting the park, you’ll note that many trees are labeled with values – some in the tens of thousands of dollars. This tactic builds awareness and mindfulness in high-impact construction zones, ensuring care is taken by the construction crews to protect the trees.
The arboretum remains open during construction, which is planned to be completed Dec. 2017. Constructions zones are marked, and while they may be inviting, the paved sections aren’t open just yet!
For more information, visit: https://www.seattle.gov/parks/about-us/current-projects/washington-park-arboretum-loop-trail